The Duchess Of Cambridge’s Summer Style Is By Far Her Best

Deep breaths royal style-watchers, we’re about to say something bold. The Duchess of Cambridge’s summer wardrobe is by far her best. From the Chelsea Flower Show to Wimbledon, Kate comes alive in the warmer months as her diary fills up with Great British events in line with her personal interests. (Who doesn’t get excited about center court action with a side of Pimms?)

The hallmarks of the Duchess’s style – Erdem florals, Alessandra Rich polka dots – translate well in June and July, a time when her dress coats are at the dry cleaners and her Jimmy Choo courts are retired in favor of Castañer espadrilles. At Ascot, she’s all My Fair Lady-inspired lace, care of Dolce & Gabbana; for Royal Horticultural Society festivals, it’s Emilia Wickstead shirting; while at the polo she favors affordable LK Bennett day dresses. Her seasonal dye job – which sees Kate, like many women in summer, go lighter – looks softer and hints at weeks spent on the beach in Mustique.

Her first emerging designer moment in Barbara Casasola in 2016.


Kate’s relationship with florals has blossomed thanks to Erdem. Here she is with the Queen and Prince William at the Chelsea Flower Show 2020.

WPA Pool

Wimbledon spectator style is Kate at her most confident. Remember the media frenzy when she arrived in SW19 in 2016 wearing a bright yellow Roksanda number, which her husband later nicknamed “the banana dress”? That same year, she wore an Alexander McQueen midi detailed with the brand’s Obsession print: a symmetrical mash-up of skulls, butterflies and lips. Not your usual polite princess motif then.

Alessandra Rich polka dots for the win at Bletchley Park in 2019.

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

All smiles in The Vampire’s Wife in Belize this year.

Pool / Samir Hussein

That’s not to say it’s straight As across the board. We know that the royal tours of far flung destinations have not been plain sailing, and that even the most diplomatically-minded individual can make an honest style mistake. Formal palace events, such as weddings, christenings and garden parties, can also throw Kate back into the world of fascinators and court shoes.

That memorable banana-yellow Roksanda dress in action in 2014.

Danny Martindale

The Duchess’s Dolce & Gabbana My Fair Lady moment at Ascot, 2016.

Zak Hussein-Corbis

But for every block-colored Trooping the Color look, there’s a curveball moment in an unsuspecting brand that piques our interest. Barbara Casasola was one such label that enjoyed the so-called “Kate effect” in 2016. The Spanish designer’s off-the-shoulder rib-knit day dress was uncharacteristically minimalist – and, whisper it, cool – for the Duchess, who later rewore it with a pair of glitter-encrusted Choos. On a recent trip to Belize, she wore a pink metallic gown that was unmistakably the work of Susie Cave at The Vampire’s Wife. Wearing the color of the season by a cool-girl label beloved by Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung meant that Kate has her finger on the fashion pulse – no matter how many Sledge heels litter her past.

A favorite Suzannah dress worn in the height of summer in Sheffield, 2020.

chris jackson

Proving a classic summer dress never fails at the polo in 2018.

Samir Hussein

With a new appreciation for vintage – and an understanding of the importance of using her platform to promote a more sustainable approach to fashion – the summer is looking promising for this lover of feminine silhouettes and happy-making prints. After two years of blighted public events, where Kate kept calm and carried on in cheerful Zoom-ready outfits, expect a season of thoughtful fashion underscored by everything the Duchess stands for.

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